Some of the world’s best Mustangs were at the 2017 MCA Grand Nationals
What is a “Grand National”? We’re not talking about the Buick musclecar from the 1980s—these are the best Mustangs gathered together for one show
The Mustang Club of America’s Grand Nationals was truly grand this year, held Friday, August 25th through Sunday, August 27th, 2017 at the Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas, a high-tech city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The 225 members of the local Mustang Club of Greater Kansas City, presided over by Ed Mardiat, worked on this event for the last two years, and did a great job.
“How do you like this convention center?” was a question we heard over and over. Everyone seemed extremely pleased with the venue. Participants could walk inside the large air-conditioned building to cool off, then back outside to their cars.
The upper level of the center held about 150 Mustangs, while the parking lot directly outside the complex accommodated about 350 Mustangs, plus assorted vendors that included large tractor/trailer rigs from Shelby-American, Ford Motor Company, and Gateway Classic Mustang representing Ford, BF Goodrich, and Recaro.
The local club set up a silent auction at the top of the escalators in the lobby just outside the main arena where Mustangs were displayed indoors. The club contributed 100 percent of the net proceeds of this auction and the show to the Children’s Mercy Hospital. At a breakfast on Sunday morning in the convention center, the Mustang Club of Greater Kansas City presented representatives of the hospital with a check for $45,000, followed by MCA’s check for $10,000.
At this same breakfast, Jenni Shreeves of the Carroll Shelby Foundation, presented a check for $10,000 to COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association), which had helped Ayden Ethridge, a local teenager that received a heart transplant at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Ayden was there to voice his appreciation to Mercy Hospital and The Shelby Foundation (a regular contributor to COTA), and show his 1965 Mustang coupe. He is passionate about Mustangs and said he likes the early classics.
Bob Perkins, Authenticity Head Judge for the Mustang Club of America, told us what makes the Grand Nationals more important than a regular MCA national show.
“The specialty awards that we hand out are only available at the Grand Nationals. There’s a Pinnacle Award and several other specialty awards that are only handed out at the Grand Nationals.”
Of course, the really big award that owners with original cars strive to achieve is the Authenticity Award in the vaulted Thoroughbred class. This award is only available at the Grand Nationals, which explains why the cars are judged on a lift to view the undercarriages.
Four cars drove on the lift for the Authenticity Award; a 1993 Cobra-R, a 1965 Shelby G.T. 350, and two 1970 Boss 429s. The R-model was a “wrapper car,” meaning still with the plastic on the seats and steering wheel. It got Gold, but not the Authenticity Award. The ’65 G.T. 350 (owned by Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson) was awarded Silver, and thus could not win the Authenticity Award. Both Boss 429s (Rick Campbell’s 1970 model, and Bob Perkins’ 1970 model) took Gold and Authenticity.